As I feel

I’ve made a point in recent months of acting as I feel. If I’m positive about something I’ll show it. If I like you, you’ll know it. If I disagree with something I won’t bother to hide it (nor will I make a big deal of it in general). It’s all about being authentic and in the moment, and one of the benefits of it is that it doesn’t play into narratives and negates play-acting. I still have my secrets, I still retain my essential privacy, but I’m sufficiently transparent to leave no-one in any doubt about it.

This philosophy has been pretty well tested in dealing with A, at work. We’ve gone backwards and forwards. There’ll be times when I’m sitting on the edge of her desk and we’re talking easily and she’s beaming. Half an hour later the shutters are down again. Spontaneous interaction works better than structured, probably because she is taken by surprise. Sometimes you would think we hardly know each other, or never exchanged a fond word, but as if to mitigate against that an email will pop up from her more playful and girlish.

I’ve felt for a long time that fundamentally she likes me, but is wary of getting close to me. Perhaps that’s because of what happened over Christmas. Maybe she has something in her past that influences her behaviour. Or – and for some reason, I am beginning to believe this – she is inexperienced at these things and conflicted (I know she’s single and sensitive about it). Or maybe I’ve just got it all wrong and she just humours me occasionally.

Whatever, I’ve responded consistently throughout much as I’ve described. Fundamentally I like her, and that doesn’t go away. Sometimes I’m more sweet on her, and at other times frustrated. I’ve not lost patience, but when I don’t feel it, or when I’ve had enough for the moment, I back off a little. There’s nothing contrived in this, I’m still friendly when I see her, I just don’t try anything or go out of my way.

Things are – in general – a lot better than they were a couple of months ago, but this cycle keeps repeating. Last week I had run out of patience and had no real desire to interact with her. I was at the stage that if she walked in the room I’d be happier walking out because I don’t want to face that conflict. That didn’t happen, but it sums up my state of mind. She picks up on such things and the routine is that she will make an effort then. I’m a little cynical of that now because I know how it turns out. Last week I wondered if finally, this was it, I’d run out of patience. So be it if so, true to my feelings.

In the meantime, I’ve continued my normal life and, as I’ve reported previously, been feeling a lot better about it. I interact with a lot of people, some I like, some I don’t, some who are men, and some women. It doesn’t mean much more often than not, but I like to flirt if I’ve got a willing flirtee. There’s one woman I’ve probably flirted with since day one, but probably more so in recent times because I’ve had a lot more to with her.

She’s a smart, attractive, stylish woman. I remember when I first met her I thought I’d like to get to know her better. Still, there’s been no meaning in my flirtation, just a bit of fun. Then last week something happened that gave me an inkling that she was getting into it more than I thought. I know at least she likes me, how much I’m not sure.

Just the possibility of something cast me back into my own thoughts. She is quite different from A. She’s the sort of woman I think a lot of my friends could imagine me with, and perhaps I would have expected myself 10-15 years ago. She would fit in well. As I thought of her my mind gravitated to A.

How is A different? They’re both attractive women, though K is an overtly stylish, fashionable woman. They’re both very smart. That means a lot to me. I suspect that A might be more interesting – and by that, I mean more generally curious, with more stories to tell. She’s a great reader too, which counts for a lot too. Still, these are superficialities. There is an intangible – there always is. In this case, I wondered if that intangible was legitimate, or if it was, in fact, a bias.

I have a thing where I try to feel the future. Now that doesn’t always work so often times I’ll just immerse myself in possibilities and see how I feel. This morning I had just about the perfect conditions to do this.

I woke reluctantly at 7 with Rigby’s tummy growling. I got up and fed him and let him out and then went back to bed. For the next hour, I drifted between a pleasantly fuzzy half sleep and something deeper. In my vague mind, I tried to focus myself on K, but there wasn’t enough there. It’s much richer with A because I know her better and we have a history. What a dreamt about where the simple things that no longer happen. Once, I remember, she was sitting in the next partition to me at work. We talk all day without any of the self-consciousness that now infects the conversation. She told me about a book she was reading. It’s crap, she told me, but she can’t help reading it (there’s a metaphor for our relationship…).

The point is I felt fond and affectionate and protective of her. I felt as if we were intertwined, as perhaps we are. It was a very pleasant hour.

There are very clear signs I can read in that, but I just don’t know how true they are. I have a habit of hoping for too long. I was halfway to letting it go as being too hard. But then you know you like her. And you think you know her in some intrinsic way – that’s the intangible. You recognise something you can’t put words to, but it’s true. I think both of us feel that.

Where that leaves me I’m unsure. I guess in the end my aim was true – be as I feel, and let’s see where my feelings lead.


Dare to hope

Following on from what I wrote yesterday I’m trying to put it in true perspective. I reckon half the time you think you know what you think or feel, but even then it’s not always true. You’re apt to get caught out. Something happens and exposed is a previously secret emotion. You approach things rationally and logically and that’s perfectly fine except you don’t lived in a pure, untainted environment. In the real world good intentions and considered expectations get derailed by unexpected twists and irrational responses and, heaven forbid, your own sense of human feeling.

I know all this. I’m a very rational man but I’d be dumb if I didn’t factor in an often irrational world. So, I try never to be categorical. Black and white is a no-no. I have inclinations and preferences. I have notions and the odd hypothesis. Ultimately I trust more what I do than what I actually think.

It’s funny how we can be disconnected from our own doing. It’s as if there’s another realm wherein the body takes over. So you think this, but actually you do that. WTF? Yet you have to respect it. So many times this has been true in my experience.

This girl is a decent example. I’ve been hanging in there for a while and gone through different permutations of emotion. Sometimes I’ve been hopeful, other times upset, sometimes angry and occasionally exasperated. They’ve been the variables, but I’ve tracked well tracked the same line. Fair enough.

Now I’m just a bloke and by bread a bloke does not live alone. So while I’m yearning, while it’s still yet to happen and may never, I figure I can satisfy my needs elsewhere. That’s the theory. In fact – though I often feel great desire and am almost always straining at the leash – when it comes down to it I have no real urge to do something about it. Bless my cotton socks, but I want to stay pure – there’s a lot of me on the edge, but I really am a romantic, sensitive character to.

I say that – and yet, this is what I want to figure out. I actually had a very brief but pleasurable episode with a much younger woman about ten days ago. It was fun, guilt free, just what I needed. Then on Friday I’m sitting with another woman and I’m wondering if I can take this further and I know, I just know, that I don’t want to. I make my excuses and extricate myself. On the train home I rationalise it that it’s too complicated – and by that her place or mine, and the conversation on top of it – and of course I know it’s bullshit. I think of the few occasions when I’ve knocked back sex and how always afterwards I would shake my head in wonder: what happened there? In actual fact that was me being an adult, not a kid.

As I pondered deeper I realised that I didn’t want an episode of convenience. I’m past that banality. I want something real and felt, and fair enough now, and maybe overdue too. So how then do I account for the episode? I felt it, but what I felt wasn’t tenderness or affection and certainly not love, what I felt was a spiky desire. It started flirting and joking and suddenly it happened – it spontaneous and unexpected, therefore it was real.

I reflect on this as I consider A. I absolve myself of anything inappropriate, even had I gone with the woman on Friday. That’s the rough and tumble and life and I’m under no obligation. I choose to feel some obligation though because that’s what I want. I want that tie, that bond, that connection. I’ve never understood open relationships because what to me is some of the central tenets of love are done away with – faith, expectation, shared and poignant experience. To pour yourself into one other, and one only, and from here till eternity, well that’s my ideal.

I hope that happens. I hope the day comes when I can share some of this with her. Of course, there are many things I want to share – that’s what you crave when you become close to another. I want to crack myself open for her so she can read over my entrails. And vice versa. This is a different dimension altogether, much, much different to these transient episodes, even the highly satisfying. This is what I want I think, and what my body does too. We are in accord because the behavioural barriers between us are dissolving. It’s no longer purely hypothetical; I have entered into and accepted my own human feeling. And, perhaps too, as she.

She is shining now. I’ve never seen her like this before. She’s ebullient. I dare to hope.

Domestic nudity

I took a holiday last week from concerning myself with A, the girl I like at work. I was busy as always and she was training all week regardless and I in truth I was probably a little weary of the routine we rinse and repeat time and again. We were at the stage of the cycle where she opens up to me and I anticipated it. Sure enough, that’s what happened, and though I was glad of it I was also a tad jaded at the predictability.

In fact, despite being busy training, she made bright efforts every day bar one. Fine, I thought, and let it go.

I had the curious sense that though I thought no less of her my romantic interest was waning. I liked her, I just didn’t have the same feeling or sense of hope. Perhaps it had dragged on too long. I set that aside too, knowing that likely it would take very little to re-ignite my interest – which, on balance, I hoped for.

I saw her perhaps twice last week and briefly each time, but found her in my mind as I went to bed last night. I imagined her at home, wondering what she might be getting up to and thinking that if she wasn’t in bed already she was probably on her way. It was kind of cute.

As I slept and woke she came back to me. Like most men I’m sure I indulge myself from time to time picturing what the attractive woman over yonder looks like without her clothes. I’m pretty good at it having a naturally vivid imagination, plus real life experience to boot. Of course I’d done that with A also, but found I could never quite manage it convincingly. Sure, I could imagine this or that but it never quite hung together. I would wonder what it meant when I could conjure up the naked bods of other women so much easier. There were times when I took it as a negative, as if it was my sub-conscious sending me a message.

Last night I could picture her, but the erotic edge of a naked body was stripped from it. Rather the sense was of a casual and comfortable intimacy, very much in a domestic setting – the glimpses of naked body you catch when someone gets out of the shower or changes for bed, an unmentioned, low-key sharing of moments as she pulls a dress up over her head, or putting knickers on as we discuss by the by the plans for the day ahead, or a dream overnight.

I don’t know but it felt warm and real. This morning getting into work I reserved judgement on what I would do next. Our first encounter would bear strongly on that. As it happened she visited mid-morning as I was yarning with my offsider. She went about meeting with different people. She would have known I was in good spirits. I’m certainly the laconic type, but I also have a big laugh when it comes, and this morning it came. Eventually she turned to us, teasing how we seemed to be having too much fun. I liked her.

Just now I’ve returned from a meeting on her floor. On the way back I sat on the edge of her desk and we chatted for 5 minutes teasing again and her smile was happy and I felt it too.

I’m hoping we’ve moved beyond the looping stages. I suspect she knows that I am more than that now, and I hope she understands that she too can be. Time will tell, though I’m not sure yet how we play it out. Guess I’ll find out.

Doing my thing

It’s rare that I post anything on a Friday night. Generally, I’m either out having a beer after work, or else home looking forward to a night watching the footy or a good movie.

Tonight I’m home, but I’ve been so busy this week that I’m taking the opportunity to catch up a little. Besides, I have words in me.

I actually want to write about the girl. I’ve had little to do with her lately. I’m busy, she’s busy, the opportunity doesn’t come up, and I’m not going to force it. Up to today I don’t I had anything to do with her since last week. I hadn’t even set eyes on her in that time, and no big deal.

I both saw and communicated with her today. I had to pop upstairs to meet with someone and there she was. I was up there about 20 minutes and when I left I didn’t stop by her desk as I might normally. I was running between getting things done, but also very conscious of not doing things just for the sake of it. Possibly she expected me to stop by, I don’t know, but it wasn’t long before I figured I was the bad books.

How do I know that? I guess there’s a combination of things. You sense it in the body language. Then she’s non-responsive, and when she must respond it’s very curtly – none of the smiley faces, nothing personal, not my name when she addresses me, everything blunt and shorn of ornament.

Why then? I figure it’s for one of two reasons.

Either it’s because of my enigmatic Facebook post of about a week ago in which she possibly identifies herself (I had another person think it was them I referred to). We’re not Facebook friends so I don’t know how she would have seen it but through a mutual friend, but whatever. So maybe she’s upset at that.

More likely she’s unhappy I haven’t made a greater effort this week. You fall into patterns, and often when it’s men and women the men do the wooing and the women are coy. That’s been our pattern too, though my wooing has been more of a friendly nature. This week though it’s been missing – because I’ve been busy, like I said, and because I’m doing what I feel.

It’s important for me to be natural these days. I express it as I feel it. If I’m feeling fond of her I’ll show it. If I’m distracted by other things then I won’t pretend something that’s not in me. I want to be sincere – true. I feel no less for her in any empirical sense, I just haven’t felt the need to prove it.

On top of that, I’m in pretty good order these days. I feel on top of my game and when that happens I flow. I’m real easy with everyone, and everyone likes me because I’m fun to be with. She’s seen that, she even experienced it obliquely, and maybe when she sees that she wonders if she’s really that special to me. I’m not pining. I’m happy and bubbling, whether she’s a part of it or not.

There’s a part of me that feels like teasing her, and effectively I am in some ways. When it’s like this I don’t how it plays out, but I don’t really change my ways. I send her the same bright email as always (or sometimes merely the briskly efficient, but all in character) knowing that she’s just as likely to want to punish me for my inattention. I smile when I receive the curt response. By now I know it, and I feel like teasing it out, sending her another bright response just because. I don’t – that would be forcing it. I let it go.

It’s important I maintain contact with her. She may bat away my hand today but next week may take it. I’ll keep doing it for as long as it feels real. I’m not offended by her anymore, but at the same time there’s only so much I can or will do. Or should. This is me if she can recognise it – I’m tender and affectionate and I’m true. Above all, I aim to be completely authentic. In the end, she must make that decision – I’ve made mine. Her decision may be ultimately no, or just as likely I’ll fade away before she makes a call. That’s life. I’m here, I’m cool, I can only be true to myself.

I still don’t know what will happen but remain convinced she is intimately aware of me. I hope so. She looked particularly delectable today.

Till such a time I’m just doing my thing.

Head and heart

I was in a pretty bad way yesterday. I don’t think that was clear when I wrote. Writing has the effect of taming things for a while, but the effect wears off often. I felt wrong, almost at an existential level. It felt fundamentally wrong and so unfair.

Later I reflected on that – why should that worry me so much? I don’t expect fairness. I know it’s just an arbitrary construction, and know better – mostly – than to take any digression from it personally. And mostly because of that I’ve been able to shrug it off and often, in fact, use it as motivation. I’m someone who responds well to such challenges.

There’s the head then, and there’s the heart. I know this in my head, and because I have become inured, and so defiant by extension, I feel it also in my self, my body, maybe even my heart. But not yesterday. Yesterday I put words to it trying to claim some order. I felt bleak in my heart though, and as I went about my day in a haze I associate with depression.

Last night I slept better than I have for so long. I have a sleep tracker that tells me how often I rouse during the night and puts a score on my sleep quality. Last night the score was 98%, which was no surprise. I woke to feel that I had not slept so well since I couldn’t remember, and reached to read the score. Once upon a time it’s how I slept most nights I think, but these days I average somewhere in the 70’s.

The sleep did me good. It settled me some. I recall just one small dream, though she was in it, as herself.

One of the things that went through my head yesterday was not just how I should feel, but what I think? I wonder if pure intellectual reaction has been corrupted by woolly philosophy. I wondered if I should be angry, but then considered that what I feel now because of her she may have experienced because of me. Does that make a difference? Does it make more sense of things? In any case, I didn’t feel angry.

I wondered if I should just walk away – but from what? I’m not doing anything but being myself. I’m not trying anything with her. I’m not trying to woo or charm or persuade her. I put no pressure on her except, possibly, by being myself – the person she fell for. And at this stage, I refuse to be anything less than that person.

I keep thinking, this is her decision now. I don’t know if that’s a cop-out, but it informs my behaviour and policy of non-intervention. Is it possible it confuses her? Would I be better trying something? That is my dilemma though, the two sides of it – I could be more or I could be less, and either might be right. Instead, I choose just to be who I am, not pushing, but present, decent, intelligent, reliable and fun. Here I am – over to you.

In my mind, I see the relationship between us constantly shifting, if not in transition then certainly dynamic. I am aware of her, and I feel her awareness of me. There was something, it hit a speedbump and went off track and raised a lot of dust – and now I am trying to steer back towards the track while the dust slowly settles. I’m not there yet, and dust still hangs in the air, but track this course and the air will clear.

But then, I wonder, is her snubbing the other evening the real final word on this? Is that what she wants me to know? There is no track?

It’s funny how we apply interpretations to events. I’m always wary of it because it often involves the emotions, and there’s the prospect of twisting the interpretation to match your hopes. I don’t know if that’s a filter I can see, but my sense from Friday is that she snubbed me because she didn’t want to face me then. I don’t think it was rejection, rather a convenience. I don’t know if she overheard the conversation from the kitchen and if that was playing in her, adding to the noise. I did a lot for her, and she knows it, and I know she is grateful, but, I suspect, it was not something she trusted herself to express at that moment. It was easier to blow by me.

These are the thoughts in me today after having slept. My head and heart are in more accord. I feel less sad and certainly less hazy. Tomorrow, at work, might tell the tale.

For me, I go on as ever. There’s no reason to doubt myself, for this is the authentic me – and I don’t want to be anything less than that.

Glad to care, but hurting anyway

I’m a man and too often these days we’re portrayed as insensitive and brutish. It’s true that I have a robust nature, but the waters run deep. All the same, I can’t remember when I was last left hurt by a woman. I think last night it happened.

I’ve charted the journey with the woman at work, and I now think it’s probable that at some point a few months ago she decided she won’t get fooled again, a decision which has informed our relationship ever since. In the last couple of weeks, it has warmed up some, though nothing to get excited about. There have been smiles again and shared moments, jokes and laughter.

Helping this along is the work I was asked to do to help her in an event she was planning. She is a part of the office engagement committee, and she’s very dedicated and conscientious. There are other members of the committee, but fair to say she is the driving force – it’s one of the attributes I admire her for, and which I find an instinctive allure.

She asked me to arrange some trophies for awards being given out on the night, partly because she didn’t have the time, but mostly she wanted to keep independent of the process. I was happy to take it on. I wanted to help her, plus I’m one of those people who like to see things go right. I don’t like to standby, I’d rather be hands-on doing it myself just in case.

As it turns out it was quite a demanding task coordinating between managers to find out who their winners were; with the trophy company in Brisbane organising the trophies, the inscriptions, as well as payment and shipping; and composing for each winner a short summary of their achievements to go on a certificate. A lot of it was last-minute because people left it to the last moment to get back to me. In the end, it all happened as it should, in large part because the trophy company were so accommodating.

A was relieved and grateful, but I think she expected it to go well. We don’t know each other intimacies, but we know key parts of the other because of our involvement, and because there is much in ourselves we recognise in the other. I’m just as wholehearted as she is, and she knows it.

In the background, I was guiding what was to be the introduction of cocktails into the evening, which was my idea. I guess I was the technical consultant when it came to that, helping to determine the cocktails, sourcing the ingredients, the set-up, and so on. I even made a batch of sugar syrup last-minute because no-one else had.

And mid-afternoon yesterday I clocked off work to help set-up the room and get it organised with her and others.

The event kicked off. The cocktails were a hit, and there was a vibe, unlike any previous events. Come the awards ceremony I was in the background handing the trophies and certificates to the manager to present. As I knew, and she didn’t, she was one of the winners, and very worthy too.

The pressure was off and we could relax and enjoy the night. The night went on, longer than usual. I mingled, occasionally bumping into her, but mostly not. I had offered to help with the clean-up, but as the crowd was slow to disperse began to do some in the background while they were still there – disposing of rubbish, cleaning up the cocktail table and the remnants, carting stuff up and down the stairs, doing dishes, and so on. It was exhausting work but I was happy to do it. If you start something you finish it, that’s how I was brought up.

On one occasion another guy came downstairs with me carrying a load. He’s only 25, a very interesting character, but with a good heart. He’s a bit of an extrovert and has taken to me. Earlier we’d had a candid conversation about his father being basically a drug addict, and I’d shared with him some of my story. We continued the story downstairs, alone in the kitchen.

I found out he’d got in with the wrong crowd and had become a drug dealer. He was making $7,000 a week working a few hours, but then some of his friends got arrested and he realised how it wrong it was and he got out. He told me of a harsh childhood, and how he was trying to get things back on track. Weaving through this conversation was my story as he asked questions and I answered explaining how I was lucky to have good friends and how I’d survived by telling myself this is not how I want my story to end.

A couple of girls came in then and I left to continue the clean-up. Outside the kitchen, I met the girl. She made mention – and I don’t know why – that she had been sitting at her desk the last 20 minutes. I presume she might have approached the kitchen, got wind of the conversation, and backed off. Even at her desk, on a vacant floor, it’s probable she could hear us. Maybe that’s what she was telling me.

Anyway, we finished cleaning up and the last three of us went downstairs to the bar we go to Friday’s. Someone bought me a beer and I stood chatting with my best mate in the place. She did the rounds thanking people and saying her goodbyes. It had been a big night but it had gone well. Earlier she had told me she felt proud, just as she should.

Then the thing happened. Or rather it didn’t. She’s doing all this and then comes to leave. I’m standing by the door, and in fact had been opening and closing it for people. I open it again, my arm above her head holding it open for her. She doesn’t even look at me. No goodbye, see you Monday, no thanks for your help, no nothing. Off she went.

That got to me. I wasn’t hurt then but disappointed. Without understanding why it felt significant. The thought crossed my mind: am I so bad? It’s not as if she could have forgotten or overlooked me – I was right there. She chose not to. But even as I wondered that I was sure it was not because I was so bad. I think fundamentally she likes me, and behaviour like that is not in her character. So what, then?

It was something, but I couldn’t tell what it indicated. It wasn’t nice, but I didn’t see it as a negative to our prospects funnily enough. It’s a complex mix, and when it’s complex anything can happen – it’s indifference you have to worry about. I felt sad though, and subtly upset – but not yet hurt.

I went home with it full in me. At one moment I wondered if the problem was with me, but then there are people who sit around her who like me enough to give me a hug or a kiss on the cheek, and I can’t even get a handshake out of her. Above all, it felt unfair.

My dreams were all about it. I shared a house with a woman and a couple of other guys. The woman and I had a similar thing to A and I. Mostly she favoured the others. Sometimes she wouldn’t even acknowledge me. But then there would be moments of unexpected intimacy. Moments when eyes caught, a smile developed. Moments when you knew that it’s not because she doesn’t like you, so then…what?

I woke up this morning and I was hurt. The bruise had darkened overnight. I don’t deserve this. I’m not that person. I don’t do things to look good or be liked. I do things because I think they’re the right things to do. I think I’m a decent person, and I can’t believe she doesn’t know that. I feel it though. I can live without thanks as such, it’s the lack of acknowledgement that hurt. I got profuse thanks from two of her colleagues, plus a senior manager, but this was her chance and – butkus.

I’m weary of it right now. I just want to be able to talk to her. I want her to trust me. Like I haven’t for many years I feel hurt, but not aggrieved. I wonder if she knows what she’s done. Seems to me she either doesn’t like me or likes me an uncomfortable amount, nothing in between.

For me, I can only continue as I am. We work together. I like her. This was never going to be a quick thing, and certainly not a sure thing. I can only be my best self and hope she comes to see that.

Ultimately, though it’s painful, to be hurt by someone is proof that you care. I’m glad to care so I’ll cop the hurt.

PS Sometimes I feel there’s a conspiracy afoot – Facebook knows my feelings. She’s there first in line as someone I might know when I open Facebook, smiling back at me. And now she’s there same place in LinkedIn.

Unrequited possibility

I can’t control a lot of things, or even many things. I know that, and I’ve known it for a long time. For the most part there’s comfort in that. It absolves me of the need to influence things I have no say in. I can let go, relax, let fate take its course. H has no play in this game.

At other times, however, I find myself trying to interfere nonetheless in defiance of logic and rational thought, striving to do and be, to exert myself on something for which I’m unwilling to relinquish responsibility. It’s an impulse both of control and existential desperation. H must act.

It’s that to and fro that has patterned much of life, and I’m sure much of human existence. I don’t know that it’s a bad thing even if so often it is futile and exasperating. It doesn’t always feel right to sit and observe. It’s the doing that accounts, or at least the pretence of it: I tried.

I find myself facing this conundrum once again. As I described earlier, I’m sad that some of my decisions might inadvertently have caused heartache to someone else. I can’t go back and change things though. What I can do is try and make it good now. The problem is I can get no traction. I can’t make people listen to me. I can’t make people like me again. I can only try.

I find myself fluctuating between two poles. Between acceptance: yes, it’s sad, but it’s history now and the moment has passed and there is no more I can do. Then there is the other pole, more fundamental to me I think: it’s too sad to leave it at that, perhaps even too tragic. And I like her, don’t I? And even if I’m not sure of it I think in the heat of her she likes me too. And so…?

What it all adds up to is tenderness. No matter which way I look at it I’m sorry for what I put her through. I wish I could reach out and tell her how sorry I am. It flows in me, a warm, delicate, lovely thing. I feel a better man and want to share it with her. I want to look in her eyes and tell her how much I like and admire her. I want that connection to her, to look in her eyes and find affection as well as understanding. It feels a near thing sometimes. The problem is I can never get that close to her, as if she knows it.

I’m sure a little honesty and candid conversation would go a long away. I can’t get to that point though. We stumble before it. It’s like a wall I can’t get by and it leaves me frustrated. I’m not that man I want her to know. I’m kind and decent. I have integrity. I want her to know that I’m not a man who would ever want to hurt her; I want her to know that rather I’m the man who wants to make her happy.

All I can do is live in this. For now it’s not about what I can and can’t do. All I can be is true to what I feel and what I want, and hope that it shines through. I won’t back away again. I’ll be this person tender and full of grace and hope she sees it, hope she feels and one day chooses to respond to it. I can only be me, but I want it to be this me, glowing with unrequited possibility.